on February 16, 2004
I went through a phase in junior high school where I'd read romance novels all the time. I must have read at least five hundred. And they were all awful with weak, stupid women and Neanderthal men. Yet I kept reading them because I felt they should more than what they were. I stopped reading those pieces of garbage but I came across excerpts of Suzanne Brockmann's novels last year. So I picked up The Defiant Hero and Over The Edge at the library. I liked the Sam and Alyssa story in The Defiant Hero but it's this book that made me a Suzanne Brockmann fan. This book is what I expected from a romance and what those hundreds of novels lacked.
I enjoyed the multiple plotlines, interaction between all the characters, and the characters themselves. One thing about other romance novels I hated was that each "hero" was the baddest, best, toughest man around. It got laughable after awhile. In this book, although each man is the best and toughest in his own way, they're not in competition with each other. Stan is amazing. He can seemingly do everything yet he doesn't feel the need to be overbearing. And Teri is the one to chase after Stan, which is also a welcome change from other romance novels. Sam and Alyssa's story is bittersweet and addictive. And Gina and Max were a pleasant surprise. I've started buying copies of this novel to give as gifts to friends.
on June 19, 2003
I picked up Brockmann's "Into the Night" mostly judging by the first few sentences on the back cover. If I'd known it was a romance, I probably wouldn't have read it. The cover is not the traditional bodice ripping illustration, and that tends to make the book look like it's not in that genere. After I started reading the book, I was drawn in to the world Brockmann created and began to read the rest of the series from the first book.
So far, "Over the Edge" stands out as the best book in the series. Although Brockmann's plots exist secondarily, in place only as background for two characters to get together, this story of the hijacked airliner really kept me turning the page to see what would happen next.
The character of Max Bhagat really shines in this one. I'd like to read more about him. In many ways he is more intriguing than any of the Navy SEALS who make up the crux of this series.
I could do without the World War Two stuff though. I've gotten to the point where I skim it rather than actually read that part.
Brockmann's strength is in her dialogue. Dialogue is difficult to make real, and some authors never manage to get it right. In this case, the words the characters say are what make me keep coming back for more. I'm not a romance fan, and I could care less about reading love scenes, but some of the things these guys say to each other have me laughing out loud and smiling to myself whenever I think about it later. I'll keep reading Brockmann's work on the strength of her conversations between characters.
on February 3, 2003
Wow!!! This was my first Suzanne Brockman book, and I literally could not put it down. I'm very demanding when it comes to romance thrillers. So many authors overemphasize either the romance, or the thriller, yet Ms. Brockman delivered capably on both fronts. I liked the fact that she was chronicling several romances at once. These relationships were so believable, written with a lot of humor. My favorite scene is where Stan tells Muldoon he must be crazy if he doesn't think Teri's the sexiest woman on the planet. Stan's description of Teri was down-to-earth,yet eloquent, beautiful and moving. Also, the scene where Teri FINALLY makes the move on Stan was delicious. I loved the fact that Stan and Sam, although obviously strong men, weren't afraid to be emotional in front of their women. This is so unusual in romance novels, and I applaud Ms. Brockman for it. I did have a few complaints, though. First, Teri and Stan did a little too much waffling with each other. It made want to ask, "Are you two adults, or not? Get on with it, already!!" Yes, drawing out the conflict can create yummy anticipation, but at some point it gets tiring. Second, the character of Helga Schuler, who was valiantly battling Alzheimers, seemed out of place to me. She served almost no purpose in the book, and her connection to Stan and her "save-the-day" moment at the end of the book seemed concocted to me. Therefore, although her recollections of the romance between Annebet and Hershel were moving, when reading them I found myself repeatedly asking, "Why is this here?" Third, There was so much emotional drama going on between the characters (WildCard hit the nail on the head when he joked that their military mission was looking more like an episode from the Love Boat)that I didn't find it credible that these characters could still concentrate and perform well on the mission. They all seemed a little too adept at moving from emotionally wrought lover to ice-in-their-veins military mode. Other than those minor quibbles, I thought this book was sensational. I'm definitely going to read the prior Navy seal books!!
on August 26, 2002
Wow! Brockmann juggles three romance plots threading through a terrific military action/adventure story and she does it so smoothly you don't even notice until the end. She also does her usual very smoothforeshadowing to set up for the next book in the series, Out of Control (also *****). And the ... is hot - so what else do you want!
Painfully shy Navy Reserve pilot Teri Howe, the one with the "Walk On Me" sign on her back, becomes Senior Chief Wolcholnok's special project; after all, he can fix anything, right? The Senior Chief thinks the ideal fix will be to set Teri up with his friend and fellow SEAL Mike Muldoon; after all, with a SEAL for a boyfriend, who'd have the nerve to ... harass her? But as the "Get Teri a Spine" op proceeds, Teri might just work up the nerve to say what she really wants...
The Sam and Alyssa show continues, and even reaches resolution - twice. Max Bhagat becomes a fully fleshed-out character, as does Mike Muldoon (don't forget to look for foreshadowing). People live, people die, Alyssa gets her chance to participate in a SEAL op, Sam gets some very bad news, and WildCard is finally free of Adele.
Unless you are a pacifist, you'll love this book.
on January 3, 2002
I'm glad I saved my first review for this book. I feel impelled to let people know what a wonderful book Suzanne Brockmann has written. As an African-American I'm used to many authors not including people of color, or when they do, not doing a very good job of it. Suzanne Brockmann has not only included characters of many hues and religious backgrounds, but she's concocted an engrossing tale of action and romance with multi-dimensional characters that leave you craving more. I am now a fan and I've just ordered all her books. She has written a book that other authors should take a lesson from. Stan and Teri, Sam and Alyssa, Max and Gina (she has to pursue their story!) would make great individual stories and all together they made one fantastic story. I disagree with some of the readers who didn't like the WWII component - this was also inclusive. Get your history wherever you can. It was a good history lesson. Also, Jules was a character that with a few words gave a look at a good friend, that had nothing to do with his lifestyle, but what friendship is all about. If you like romantic suspense, this will be on your list of favorites.
on November 30, 2001
I also hadn't heard of Suzanne Brockmann but was looking for some type of fantasy reading and picked it up at the drug store. I absolutely could not put it down. I was up too late last night and got up too early this morning to get through it. The story was wonderful (although as an aside - I'm afraid, that a story like this just reinforces the idea that men and women shouldn't be in combat together). Like everyone else, I'm dying to read about Sam and Alyssa. And, like several other reviewers - I didn't care for the WWII storyline. There was plenty to keep this book interesting and, after about half the book, I skimmed or skipped the WWII part. I'll have to go out and read the book that starts Sam and Alyssa's romance. And, I'm a little disappointed that it seems WildCard will be the next installment (although, it sounds intriguing). It seems that Sam and Alyssa deserved their own book, but by the end of the next one, what will be left for them?
Suzanne Brockmann - Thanks!
on October 25, 2001
This review may sound like 90% of all the other positive reviews, but stick with me, please. Suzanne has written another great SEAL Team 16 romance, with multi-couple relationships & a real-world mission plot to frame the story. (Perhaps a little too real-world, considering the attacks of September 11 & the current operations in Afghanistan.) As with "The Unsung Hero" and "The Defiant Hero," Suzanne writes a bittersweet WWII romance in memory of Holocaust survivors. Her main couple, Stan & Teri, do get to go down the happily everafter route. However, I would like to note my dismay about her choice of sexual harrassment in the military as one of Teri's problems. As a female service member myself, I get REALLY tired of people thinking that the only story for females in the military is sexual harrassment. But I digress. Suzanne's 3rd couple, Sam & Alyssa, have obviously generated the most comment, so I will follow suit. Sam & Alyssa's unhappily everafter ending in "Over the Edge" has got nearly everyone up in arms. I would like to point out that their relationship is taking time & effort to build, and the course doesn't always run smooth, sort of like real life. I appreciate seeing fictional characters struggle with problems even as they have hot sex and sensational dialog. Be warned though, this book didn't have anything as steamy as the chocolate scene from "the Defiant Hero." My gripe with Sam's decision to marry Miss Pregnant Mega-Mammaries, is that it is so old-fashioned that it sounds like he stepped straight off the pages of a Regency romance novel. Come on, we all know a marriage between Sam and Miss P M-M is not going to work while he's lusting after/loving Alyssa. In real life, we're talking divorce in 2 years, tops. Let's hope Suzanne "gets real" with this dilemma in book 4, like financial support & a parenting plan that allows Sam to participate in his child's life. Otherwise, I'm afraid I won't be able to give that story another 5 star rating. A final note, a 4th relationship was forming between Max & the college student. I would prefer to see that develop in a stand alone book. Please keep the Hero series focused on the SEALs.
on September 22, 2001
Not a fan of over the top aplha males, this book was wonderfully plotted and a very welcome surprise. Crying males are so beta male wonderful to find given the current trend in contemporary romances. With OVER THE EDGE Ms Brockman has given readers smart, sexy sensitive heroes challenged by the strength and beauty of women: there are no whiney wimps in a Brockman book: male or female.
Surely experienced romance readers will understand that Alyssa and Sam will find their own HEA down the road but she has created the ultimate angst for this couple. Nowhere is the reader mislead to think this is Sam and Alyssa's story, but it was nice to see them added giving the whole book a well plotted depth so lacking in other contemporary fiction.
What made this one so enjoyable was there were three distinct couples to enjoy, but only one could be resolved at the end. To do more would be cheating both Alyssa and Sam and Gina and Max: each deserves and will get their own story. The only downer was the sub plot of Helga, the reader will figure out her problem quickly but Brockman let that drag on too much. Might be seen by some as filler, but as this was Teri and Stan's story it was understandable and gave Stan a more human side; the ulitmate gentleman.
The story was gritty with language(but as a former service wife, it was well within the context of the characters,) and given the timing it might be a bit too close to reality for some because of today's headlines but it should be read by those who want to see the good guys win and win big. We all sort of need to feel that again. Given this past week it is refreshing to find that love like the mythical phoenix can rise from the ashes and triumph.
Brava! Suzanne Brockman is romance's Tom Clancy and romance is so much better for it!
on September 16, 2001
Brockmann has created a wonderful series about Navy SEALs and mangaged to add little bits of WWII history -- which also has a romantic thread.
I've seen some reviews complaining about the "end" of Sam and Alyssa's story. This is *not* the end! The next book will be about Wildcard, but the book after that will be Sam and Alyssa's story, from what I've been told.
I think what Brockmann is aiming for is a continuing series in the true sense of the word. Each book will stand alone, yet each one builds on the previous ones with characters and situations. Sam and Alyssa's story is a thread in a greater tapestry.
Once Sam and Alyssa's story is "complete" I think there will be another story that will be a continuing thread -- hopefully for Max and Gina. Their story was introduced in Over the Edge and has a lot going against it, their age difference will be the least of their problem.
This is no ordinary romance either. Lots of heavy topics are dealt with; from a hostage situation, to the Danish people protecting their Jews in WWII and a brilliant older woman's realization that her mind is going. I've been enjoying Brockmann's books for years now, and this is no exception.
on September 14, 2001
I bought this book the day that it came out. I am an avid reader. I started this book at 10:30pm and stayed up until 3:30am in the morning to finish. You know that you have read a really good book when several weeks later you are still thinking about the characters and their stories. I LOVE the 'troubleshooter' series. I enjoyed Heart Throb, and although it will also remain one of my favorites, it still takes a back burner to The Unsung Hero, The Defiant Hero, and Over the Edge.
The SEAL Team 16 Troubleshooters are called on to take down a group of terrorists that have hijacked an airplane and forced it to land in Kazbekistan, which is better known as "the Pit" to Brockmann's readers. Lt. Teri Howe is a rescue pilot and a woman used to being harassed by men. Senior Chief Stan Wolchonok sees the harassment and does not like it. Stan gets permission to have Teri join his SEAL team on a training mission. Stan felt that it would get her away from the man currently harassing her and he would be there to look after her. Stan had no idea that a simple training mission would turn into a real mission, or that his feelings for Teri would become so complicated. Once landing in Kazbekistan the SEAL team began intense drills preparing themselves to overtake the plane with the hijackers. In the meantime, hostage negotiator Max tries desperately to speak to the hijackers, but is only able to speak to a young woman passenger. Gina has put her life on the line to protect the rest of those on the plane and now her only lifeline is the faceless man, Max. And in her usual style, Ms. Brockmann, gives us her story within a story that involves a tragic love story that took place during WWII. This story is told by Helga, a Holocaust survivor, who is currently suffering from Alzheimer's. Ms. Brockmann also brings back a very popular pair, SEAL member Sam Starrett and FBI sharpshooter Alyssa Locke.
My favorite couple is, of course, Sam and Alyssa. Although at the end of Over The Edge I wanted to cry for them both. I am still reeling from what happened to Gina, Sam, and Alyssa. I hated the ugliness that happened to Gina. I could not believe I actually cried for this character and for Max and the others who were there to hear everything the poor young woman went through at the hands of the terrorists. I have hundreds of books from many different authors, but none have touched me like this series. It must be a great thrill to make characters come alive. I actually feel like I know all of them. I hope that Sam and Alyssa find there way back to each other in a future book. I also hope Gina finds happiness after all she has been through. And lets not forget poor Tom and Kelly who are still unmarried. Over the Edge takes you on an emotional roller coaster. I admit that when I got to the last page I, at first, felt cheated. I thought no way could this story be over. Like another reviewer said, I wanted to throw the book across the room. But, several days later, when I was still thinking about the story and its characters, I knew that the storytelling was beyond good. Yes, it was extremely tragic and emotionally draining with very small glimpses of romance and humor, but because of the dark side the reader was pushed into finding the positives of every story. The outcomes to several of the stories could have been far worse than they were. I have never read a book that has left me feeling as drained as this one did. As another reviewer stated, this is not a "get away from reality" book. I would also highly recommend that you read The Unsung Hero and The Defiant Hero before reading Over the Edge. Ms. Brockmann has me hooked and impatiently waiting for her next book in this series. Thank You Ms. Brockmann for the love and passion of the characters that you write about that is so clearly evident on every page.